Counselling works best if we meet for Counselling and only for Counselling, and do not know each other in any other context.

Generally speaking, if we know each other, for example if we are friends or acquaintances, it is not ethical for me to be your Counsellor. Indeed you would probably not want that anyway. Living in a small town it is possible that you might ‘know of me’ through word of mouth but not ‘know me’, in which case it is worth getting in touch to check out if it is feasible to work together, depending on our connection.

Likewise, however well we get on, our relationship will be purely professional. The code of ethics precludes us from becoming friends socially, either during or after therapy.

I always say to clients that if I bump into you in the ‘real world’, I will not acknowledge you unless you acknowledge me first, to prevent any awkwardness of accidentally revealing to someone that you are having counselling, which you may not want people to know.

Similarly, I do not add clients as personal friends on social media, as I keep my private life separate from my work.